Rome was bustling on Holy Week with excitement and events as Easter Sunday loomed closer.
It was Good Friday, the day known in Christianity as the day Jesus died after being crucified on the cross.
One of the main events held in Rome that night was the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum.
I met up with Daniel and the boys before the ceremony that night.
Of course before leaving their apartment, we had to have a bit of wine because you know, to celebrate Jesus coming back from the dead and stuff.
Upon arriving, hundreds had gathered to commemorate this Holy Day.
Italian police spotted the area, ensuring order to the chaos that flooded the cobbled streets of Rome.
Monstrous, colossal, and majestic.
Although I had seen this landmark several times before, it just looked and felt so different that night.
I sensed an energy from this well preserved piece of art as if it were coming alive!
Chaos on Good Friday, Coliseum
Easter arrived and so did the pouring rain.
We somehow gathered the willpower to wake up at 7am, get out from under our warm blankets, and make our way over to the Vatican that cloudy morning.
A cheap, flimsy 3 euro red umbrella was my only source of protection from the gusty winds.
At one point, I recall holding an umbrella at a 45 degree angle as the rain came splashing down on my right.
Drenched was an understatement.
Have you ever been coerced into going on the River Rapids ride at Disneyland against your own free will?
So even though you didn’t want to go on, you did anyway because you didn’t want to be a party pooper.
You get on, picking out the driest seat in the circular 8-person raft, hoping not to die from the treacherous rapids.
The perilous journey starts. The raft drifts down the tranquil lazy river of the scenic Grizzly Peak.
The currents speed up and your raft starts spinning out of control.
You’re really in for it now.
The raft spirals and you pray to Dear God on Easter Sunday that you won’t get demolished.
Eyes closed, fingers crossed, your raft gets closer and closer to that dreadful waterfall.
You pray to the River Rapid Gods that your bestfriend Kat gets attacked by the waterfall instead of you.
The waterfall plummets and engulfs you in a whirlpool, soaking you from head to toe.
In a frenzy, I shout
DAMMIT KAT WHY DID YOU MAKE ME GO ON THIS RIDE?!
Yeah. Easter Sunday at The Vatican was just like that.
Except I was standing in The Vatican Square for 3 hours, completely soaked from head to toe.
I stood amongst a crowd of Italians, British, Norwegians, Moroccans and tourists with their selfie sticks.
Eager Roman Catholics held posters and signs with Pope Francis’ face plastered all across them.
And finally, the 3 hour Easter Mass concluded.
Pope Francis reappeared from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, gave his blessing to the world, and waved his hands to signal the end of the Lenten Season
I kid you not, the pouring rain suddenly stopped.
The clouds parted and white doves soared across the sky.
But the 3 hour mass was not enough.
The hard core Roman Catholic Jesus Lovers wanted more.
In a wave of shouting and hoorahs, Pope Francis sighed and said
He did the unthinkable- from the balcony, he hopped into his PopeMobile, and in an Encore, drove all around the crowd at the Vatican, waving in a pageant girl-esque way, basking in his celebrity glory.
The energy from the screaming thousands of devout Roman Catholic fans in response to Pope Francis’s encore easily outdid a hoard of fan girls at a Beyonce concert.
Groups of people chased after him with iPhones in their hands.
Cameramen filming for live television followed suit.
I’d never seen anything like it.
My mom would’ve cried tears of joy.
Pope Francis in his PopeMobile
After sacrificing Hot Cheetos for the entire Lenten Season, Jesus was now resurrected on Easter and I was allowed to eat my favorite guilty pleasure again.
The world was back to normal.
The first thing I did after that was run back to my room to find that large bag of Hot Cheetos waiting for me.
I opened the bag which was buried under my clothes in the suitcase and grabbed a handful and shoved them in my mouth.
The sensation of crunching flaming hot cheetos between my teeth, the savory taste I was deprived of for 42 days and 42 nights, was so amazing that my roommates heard- they hurried to my room to see what was going on.
Amy pointed at me from the living room and yelled
SANDY HAS HOT CHEETOS!!!!!
Word quickly spread and next thing you knew, everyone was in the living room, sharing in this delightful spicy Hot Cheetos moment with me.
And that was the first time all my roommates were together at once.
Next up: Check out how I got away with Murder in Mexico